This concern is located at Pollock, La. The company also has a mill at Ball, La., and handles the output of another mill of 60,000-foot capacity at White Spur, La. The combined output of the three mills is 225,000 feet a day. The properties of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, at Pollock and Ball are in line to develop into first class plants of a size which will compare favorably with the average plants throughout the south. The plans at Pollock are being carried out rapidly, and will create a plant which can manufacture and care for lumber as well as the best. Mr. Ball is a very capable and progressive business man, and the backing of timber adjacent to these plants assures their continuous activity for many years. In the company’s timber is a larger portion of large longleaf pine than commonly is found, and the general average is good. The attitude of employees and officials gives evidence of excellent discipline and earnest cooperation in the business. The business is already large, and the tendency seems to be toward bigger and better things in the future.
The company was organized and incorporated under the laws of Louisiana January 1, 1905, succeeding J. F. Ball & Bro., which firm had been operating since 1890. The capital stock of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, is $100,000. The officers are:
President—J. F. Ball, Pollock, La.
Vice president—R. L. Ball, Pollock, La.
Secretary and treasurer—J. W. Ball, Pollock, La.
Evolution of a Big Industry.
The history of the company dates back to the close of the war and centers in the operations of C. E. Ball, of Pineville, who for many years—it might be said until the coming of the railways into that country in 1885—supplied the bulk of the lumber used in Rapides Parish and in the city of Alexandria. The beginning was with small portable mills, operating where timber supplies were most conveniently obtainable and could be gotten to the markets then accessible. In addition to the local demand a considerable business was done by river, lumber being shipped as far south as Baton Rouge. Of the family of six boys, the present officers of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, assisted their father in his lumber business. In 1893 the business was operated under the name of C. E. Ball & Sons and so continued until 1900 when, at the death of the father, the name became J. F. Ball & Bro., and at the formation of the present company, in January 1905, it became the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited.
The first railway to be extended to Alexandria was the Texas & Pacific, in 1885, and for the building of this road C. E. Ball furnished ties for twenty miles of the roadbed. In 1890 he located a permanent mill at what was then known as Leven (now Tioga) on the Iron Mountain railway, six miles north of Alexandria, and operated there two years. He sold out in December, 1892, to Julius Leven, and built a mill at Ball, a few miles farther north, which has been rebuilt and enlarged four times since then, increasing the capacity from 15,000 feet for the original mill to 75,000 feet for the present mill. Mill No. 3 was completed in shortly before the death of C. E. Ball, with of 50,000 feet. This mill was burned August 3, 1906 was immediately replaced by the present structure put into operation in December of that year.
In 1907 the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, purchased the mill site and improvements had survived a fire in June, 1906, at the plant of the Big Creek Lumber Company, at Pollock, La., together with the timber holdings of that concern in Grant parish. To these holdings were added the in Grant parish known as the Gould estate.
Rebuilding operations at Pollack began in January, and the new mill began sawing in June following. plant at Pollock now is a high class modern saw mill and when the improvements now being made shall have been completed the equipment will be fully up to approved modern standards.
For convenience in handling the business of the concern the underlying companies of the J. F. Ball & Bro. Lumber Company, Limited, are known as follows: The Iron Mountain Lumber Company, Pollack, La.; Sweet Home Lumber Company, Ball, La.; Sandy Creek Lumber Company, White Spur, La. The general offices of the company are located at Pollock, La., and 50 percent of the output is sold through the Hogg-Harris Lumber Company, of St. Louis. The balance of the output is marketed through the main office at Pollack, La.